Greetings from Dalian China. This and the last city we visited of Shenyang would EACH be the second largest city in all of the USA! Here is a stat to chew on that I read in the latest issue of Conde Naste Traveler, not sure if its true or not, but it read something like this, “China has 370 cities with populations of between 1 and 5 million, the United States has eight – nineteen China cities have populations of more than 10 million – more than any US city.”
And most westerners couldn’t name more than two of them.
I will never again think Los Angeles is a large city – it is a town in comparison to these numbers.
Dalian is a seaport – but certainly not a sleepy one. This city is *huge* and wraps around the coastline for miles with amazing modern architecture and hundreds of high rise residential buildings. Unlike Shenyang which is an un-inspirational industrial city located inland – Dalian has influences that only a city can have by being an International seaport.
It is so nice to every once in a while be hosted first class such as on this trip! I’m staying in a large suite in Dalian’s tallest hotel, the Intercontintal. Christmas has arrived in the hotel in a big way – about 15 staff were dancing some silly dance to Jingle Bells in the Lobby and a live Santa is already here, surrounded by presents.
We went out to a high end Sushi Restaurant last night and gorged ourselves for 2 hours in a private room sitting on mats. Sea cucumber and sea urchins – not to mention plate after plate of Sashimi. I can eat the stuff for hours! From what little we have seen of Dalian – it seems to be a city setup for tourism. The city contains a number of fun parks, a huge aquarium and other architectural delights. What is also nice about Dalian is while much of the city is very new, there is an old part that features old European architecture – some amazing residential neighborhoods with huge homes – as well as very old European looking business buildings. There are influences here from occupations by the Japanese, Russians and the British.
It was white out conditions early this morning from the snow storm – still snowing but the cloud level has raised a bit and if the roads are ok, we will head out in our 4wd to the North Korean border.
Here are a few pics of the skyline (note there is even the National bird of China in one – the crane!) and our sushi dinner.